Citing a need to make the Maryland Open field more manageable, outgoing Maryland State Golf Association president Thomas Hardinge Jr. of Fountain Head CC in Hagerstown announced there will be a qualifying round to reduce the number of championship players, with exemptions for those who made the final cut the previous year.
In another tournament change, Baltimore teams will play Washington teams in the early rounds of the spring team matches. In the past, the field was divided between the two areas, with the respective winners playing for the championship.
At the organization's recent meeting, at which Ned Longson, a member of Manor Country Club, was selected to succeed Harding, guest speaker Roger Maxwell spoke on a recent "Golf Summit" of the National Golf Foundation. A vice president/director of golf for the Marriott Corp., Maxwell
emphasized retaining current players rather than trying to attract new ones.
"The so-called 'boom' of the 1980s attracted a lot of new players and stimulated new course development, but those pushing the courses forgot to tell anyone in what sector they were needed," he said. "So, now you have new courses for private clubs, resorts and real-estate developments, when the real need is for municipal and public courses.
"According to NGF figures, the sport has lost 12.3 million frequent players [those who play eight to 24 times a year] since 1988, so the challenge is not so much one of recruitment as it is retention -- making the game more enjoyable for the occasional golfer and the woman golfer.
"At the same time, maybe our club pros are not as customer-friendly as they should be."
Other MSGA announcements included:
* Two spring seminars, one for greens chairmen and superintendents on March 9 at Columbia CC, and one on rules on April 15 at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club.
* David Smith, who has worked at Woodholme CC, and Brian Grace, who has worked at Woodmont CC, are the latest recipients of MSGA Emmet Gary undergraduate scholarships. The fund is for majors in the University of Maryland agronomy department. The scholarship is in memory of a past Maryland State president from Hillendale CC.
Other officers joining Longson are vice presidents William Smith, Hillendale, and Randy Reed, Norbeck; secretary Edward Brown Jr., Elkridge; treasurer Dawson Stump, Green Spring; executive secretary Jack Emich, Baltimore CC. Named to the executive committee were John Highfield, Elkridge; Robert Abbo, Columbia; John Snead Jr., Baltimore CC; Robert Lerner, Woodmont; James Pelisek, Sparrows Point; Edward Harrington, Congressional; Roger Finn, Fountain Head.
April 3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 24 -- Team championship, various sites; May 7 -- Two-man team (WestWinds); May 24 -- Men's Amateur (local qualifying, Norbeck and Chestnut Ridge); June 17-20 -- Men's Amateur (Manor); July 12-14 -- Maryland Open (Crofton); July 19 -- Pro-Amateur (Chantilly Manor); July 20-23 -- Women's Amateur (Eagle's Nest); July 26 -- Juniors (Lakewood); Aug. 6 -- Mixed twoball (Montgomery); Aug. 13 -- Father-Son (Columbia); Aug. 23-24 -- Mid-Amateur (Hillendale); Sept. 3 -- Seniors (Baltimore CC); Sept. 11 -- Baltimore-Washington team matches (Bonnie View CC); Sept. 16 -- Women Seniors (Elkridge).
The association also will conduct qualifying for two national men's events, the U.S. Open at Eagle's Nest on May 17, and the U.S. Amateur at Wakefield Valley on Aug. 9.
New head pro
Tom Beidleman, a former assistant professional at Baltimore Country Club, has moved in officially as the head pro at the new Cattail Creek CC, located on Route 97 five miles south of I-70 in western Howard County.
Construction, grading, and seeding of the Willard Byrd-designed hole golf course have been completed, and the formal opening is projected for the Memorial Day weekend.
Beidleman, 28, brings six years of work as an assistant at three prestigious clubs to his first position as a head pro. He spent all six with head professional Brian Morrison, first in the New York metropolitan area at Canoe Brook CC and Westchester CC, and for the past two years at Baltimore CC.
"I applied for the position, seeing this as a good opportunity and believing the new course and I could grow together," Beidleman said. "I'm excited about the project and can't stress enough how supportive of me Baltimore Country Club has been during this process."
The Leukemia Society will sponsor its fourth annual indoor golf tournament Feb. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Hunt Valley Marriott. Tom Clancy is serving as the honorary chairman. Information is available from the society, (410) 825-2500. . . . Karl Mindel and Allan Taylor of Owings Mills had a 54-hole better-ball total of 217 to place 86th among 136 teams in the Lexus Champions for Charity national tournament held at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. With the teams playing for prize money ($60,000 purse) for their local charities, the two, who had qualified at Chestnut Ridge CC, represented the University of Maryland Cancer Center and were sponsored by Len Stoler Lexus of Owings Mills.